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Symposium Speakers - Abstracts, Bios and Presentations

On February 9 2016, Collective Shout hosted the highly successful Pornography and Harms to Children and Young People Symposium at Sydney, Australia -  the largest gathering of its kind in the southern hemisphere. And our aim – to spark a national conversation about the public health crisis caused by porn harms to children – was definitely achieved. The majority of the presentations were filmed and are available below for your viewing.

 

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KEY NOTE: Dr Michael Flood - Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow, Sociology, University of Wollongong

Dr Michael Flood is an internationally recognised researcher on men, masculinities, violence, and sexualities. He has made a significant contribution to scholarly and community understanding of men’s and boys’ involvements in building gender equality. He has published on young men’s use of pornography and on young heterosexual men’s sexualities, as well as on such topics as violence prevention, fathering, and anti-feminist men’s groups. Dr Flood also is a trainer, community educator and activist. He has worked with with sporting and military organizations, community services, and governments, participated in international expert meetings, and contributed to social change campaigns.

Fostering boys’ and men’s resistance to pornography

Pornography is transforming boys’ and young men’s sexualities. It has an increasing influence on how males (and females) think and feel about sex and bodies, the kinds of sex they want to have and do have, and their sexual and intimate relations. This presentation begins by mapping the evidence regarding key areas of pornography’s influence. It then explores the social and educational strategies which can be used to minimise the harms of pornography consumption. In particular, the session explores how to build young men’s and women’s critical resistance to pornography and to encourage gender-equitable sexual relations.

 

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KEY NOTE: Maree Crabbe - Project coordinator: Reality & Risk

Maree Crabbe coordinates the community education project Reality & Risk: Pornography, young people and sexuality. She is Co-Producer and Co-Director of the documentary film Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, and author of In The Picture – a whole school resource to assist secondary schools to address the influence of explicit sexual imagery. Maree has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – in the community sector for over 20 years. She has developed and delivered programs focusing on sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity, pornography, sexting and prevention of sexually transmissible infections. Maree’s articles on young people, sexuality and pornography have been published in online and print media.

Making violence sexy? Pornography, young people and sexuality

Readily available and aggressively marketed online, exposure to pornography is now mainstream. Porn has become a default sex educator for many young people, shaping sexual understandings in ways that are unprecedented. But porn is about so much more than ‘sex’. The messages mainstream porn conveys – about women, men, sex, pleasure, consent power and aggression – contribute to cultural conditions that support violence against women. Porn has become a violence prevention issue we can’t afford to ignore. 

Recording not available 

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KEY NOTE: Dr Joe Tucci - CEO Australian Childhood Foundation

Dr Joe Tucci is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Childhood Foundation, a social worker and psychologist. He has completed a PhD in emotional abuse and uses post-modern and narrative ideas in research, counselling and training.  He has a particular interest in the impact of abuse-related trauma on brain development and the implications for practice.  Joe has extensive experience in the provision of consultancy, clinical supervision and program development and evaluation.

The impact of pornography on children: A crisis in the making

Pornography is changing the landscape of children’s sense of themselves and their relationships. The impact of its messages are amplified by its availability to children and young people. This presentation will examine the relationship between pornography and the dramatic increase in the numbers of children and young people who are engaging in problem sexual behaviour. It is a crisis in the making that requires community and political action.

 

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KEY NOTE: Susan McLean Internet Safety Expert - Director - Cyber Safety Solutions

Susan McLean is Australia’s leading expert in the area of cyber safety and was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years. She was the first Victorian Police officer appointed to a position involving cybersafety and young people. She is the only person in Australia with her specific background, experience and qualifications. She has completed advanced training in the USA in both 2007 & 2012 including the Protecting Children Online Certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and has successfully completed the ‘University Certificate in Child Safety on the Internet’ from the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom. She has recently completed the Netsmartz USA training, Teaching Digital Citizenship. She works closely with the main social media sites of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and also with Google/YouTube and is regularly consulted by these organisations for input into their impact on Australian children especially in relation to safety and reporting. She was recently asked to trial YouTube Kids prior to its launch in Australia and report back on safety, security and content.

She is a sought after advisor to schools, providing crisis management, policy development and confidential advice to Principals. Susan is the only independent member of the Federal Government's Cybersafety Working Group and she works closely with the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. She is afforded expert status by the Safer Internet Programme Europe. Susan is a published author with her first book, 'Sexts, Texts and Selfies- How to keep your child safe in the digital space'. Highly regarded by all forms of media, both Nationally and Internationally, Susan is the expert of choice for her unparalleled knowledge and most importantly, her balanced comments.

A day in the life…..

The proof that children are viewing graphic sexual images online can be seen in both the type of images and videos that many of them are sharing of themselves and in the injuries that GP’s are seeing young girls present with, trying to emulate the acts that they have seen online or those they are pressured into trying by boys who have developed a skewed view of what constitutes a respectful relationship. Primary school teachers tell of students behaving in a highly sexualised way, using explicit language and engaging in ‘play’ that is not remotely linked to age or level of development. Police tell of sexual assaults being committed on and by younger and younger children. The reality is that the only place that children can find these images and sadly learn these behaviours is online. Whilst in the early days of the internet, exposure to explicit pornography came at a cost ie: you had to pay via credit card thus ensuring that children did not have the ability to access such content, with the proliferation of pre paid Visa/MasterCards that can be sourced at any supermarket and the fact that most pornography is now available for free, means that the earlier protective factors no longer exist. The continued apathy and unwillingness to discuss the effects of the exposure to online pornography and the often-distinct lack of comprehensive sex education in schools is a contributing factor to the harms we see. We must be prepared to speak up, stand up and be heard.

Recording not available

 

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Liz Walker - Founder and Managing Director of Youth Wellbeing Project

Liz Walker is an accredited sexuality educator, professional speaker and founder of Youth Wellbeing Project. As the creator of the whole-person centred sexuality education model, and BODY IQRELATIONSHIP IQ programs, Liz provides proactive strategies for healthy sexual development to students, parents, counsellors and educators. Liz is regularly featured in media and speaks to thousands of young people every year, bringing a strong focus on deconstructing the messages of porn culture. As a lead influence in engaging parents, professionals and young people in Australia and New Zealand to talk about the impacts of porn, Liz’s presentations are often described as engaging, confronting and inspiring.

The influence of porn on sexual development and the role of education

Healthy sexual development does not occur in a vacuum. Child development theories indicate that children and young people construct their identity through a range of influences, including social and cultural environments. This presentation considers potential outcomes when the voice of porn culture is the most influential in a young person’s understanding of themselves, their sexuality and their view of others. Liz will also explore reasons for resistance to holistic sexuality education within Australian schools; and confront the limitations of education to address problematic sexual behaviours that can result from exposure and ongoing use of pornography during developmental years.

 

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Melinda Tankard Reist - Co-founder of Collective Shout

Melinda Tankard Reist is a Canberra author, speaker, media commentator, blogger and advocate for women and girls. She is well known for her work on the objectification of women and sexualisation of girls and efforts to address violence against women. A co-founder of Collective Shout: for a world free of sexploitation, Melinda is named in Who’s Who of Women (Australia) and World Who’s Who of Women. 

How are girls harmed when boys are conditioned by pornography

The lives of children and young people are increasingly socialised, conditioned and informed by pornography. Drawing from the global literature as well as personal experiences shared with her in engagements with large numbers of young women around the country, Melinda Tankard Reist focuses specifically on how girls and young women are affected by porn-using boys in their everyday lives. She explores girls’ experiences of sexual assault, physical injury from porn-inspired sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, demands for sexual ’selfies’, inappropriate touching, body shaming and other out-workings of porn-influenced behaviours. How can we help girls stand up against warped notions of sexuality conveyed in pornography and seek relationships based on mutual respect and care?

 Recording not available

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Dr Caroline Norma - Lecturer, School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University 

Dr Norma researches the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children in Australia and Northeast Asia. She is the author of The Japanese Comfort Women and Sexual Slavery During the China and Pacific Wars (2016). She is a leading feminist advocate in Australia against prostitution, and speaks in Asia on pornography and its harms for women and children.

Pornography as an instrument of child sexual abuse  

This presentation will address the instrumental use of pornography in the grooming of children for sexual abuse and exploitation. Norma will argue that pornography generates harms not just in its production and consumption, but also in its application in situations of child sexual abuse as a 'teaching manual' deployed by perpetrators. She will describe the particular effectiveness of pornography in perpetrator 'grooming' of children through citing examples of criminal cases appearing in Australian courts.

 

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Collett Smart - Registered Psychologist, Lecturer at UWS and Qualified teacher – Founder of Family Smart

Collett Smart works as a consultant psychologist, a lecturer at UWS and a school counselor. She has worked with children, teens and their parents around Australia, the UK, and in Africa. She has developed and delivered programs for teachers, parents and teenagers, focusing on the effects of sexualised media and pornography, on mental health and wellbeing. Collett is also a mum of 3.

Help, Hope & Healing

Parents don’t know how to talk about ‘the birds and the bees’ with children, let alone pornography. What can parents do before exposure happens and what can they do to bring healing when a child has been exposed already? This topic will explore the conversations parents need to be having with the their children from as early as 2 years through High school. We will look at these conversations through the 4 facets (biological, psychological, social and spiritual) of the human condition. Intentionally nurturing all areas will yield ‘whole’ adults in the future.

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Dr Lesley-anne Ey - Research Fellow, University of South Australia

Dr Ey lectures in educational psychology, social and emotional development and child protection. She researches media influence on children’s learning and development, in particular sexualised music media’s influence on children’s socio-sexual development. Her work is innovative in that it brought children’s voice into the debate. Dr Ey is an executive member of the Australian Council on children and the media and advocates for a safe media environment for children.

Young children’s engagement with sexualised media: The precursor to engaging with porn

Sexualised media is ubiquitous. With increasing frequency and intensity, sexualised media contains sexual signifiers that represent traditional soft pornography, particularly in the music industry. Sexual depictions in media is part of constructing children’s reality, desensitising them to adopt sexualised attitudes as normal. This has implications for children’s immediate and future socio-sexual development. Research with adolescents and young adults has demonstrated that engagement with sexualised media has similar effects on sexual development, sexual identity and sexual attitudes as engagement with pornography. This presentation argues that sexualised media is a precursor to child engagement with porn, and considers  the social responsibility we have to children around areas of education, regulation and law.

 

 

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Holly-ann Martin - Founder and Managing Director of Safe4Kids

Holly-ann Martin is the founder and Managing Director of Safe4Kids, a company which specialising in child abuse prevention education and training. Holly-ann has over 30 years’ experience in this field and  has worked extensively in remote Aboriginal communities in both the Kimberley in Western Australia  and the Central Desert region of the Northern Territory.

Pornography and its negative effects on remote Aboriginal communities in Australia

The proliferation and ease of access to pornography via mobile phones and the internet, and the lack of education in this area, is placing children at great risk. The increase in child-on-child sexual abuse is of huge concern and among other socio-cultural factors, can be largely attributed to exposure to pornography. Remote Aboriginal communities are concerned for the welfare of their children, in particular the disempowerment of young girls and the sexualisation of children directly attributed to the negative impact of pornography within communities.

Recording not available

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Hugh Martin - Founder of Man Enough

Hugh is a transformational therapist, men’s coach, NLP practitioner and group facilitator. Through his vision for a community of men committed to supporting one another through a facilitated therapeutic process, Man Enough provides a safe space for men to reconnect to themselves. Hugh’s work specialises on working with men and boys with Problematic Pornography Use (PPU). His work is informed by his training as well as his own lived experience with PPU after becoming exposed to pornography at a young age.

Case Studies on the impacts of early porn use

Porn has never been more available than it is now. A high proportion of young people consume pornography or are exposed to it on a regular basis. Backtracking to consider the impact of porn prior to and at the onset of mass accessibility through high speed Internet, this presentation highlights both the personal experiences of Hugh, along with several case studies of the men he works with. Whilst each individual responds differently to unrestricted access to porn, Hugh will argue that early exposure to pornography influences mens views around sex and sexuality, power, self-esteem, gender and their attitudes towards violence.

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Dr Helen Pringle - University of NSW

Helen Pringle is in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales. Her research has been widely recognised by awards from Princeton University, the Fulbright Foundation, the Australian Federation of University Women, and the Universities of Adelaide, Wollongong and NSW. Her main fields of expertise are human rights, ethics in public life, and political theory 

Laughing at cruelty: Pornography as harmful entertainment

Dr Helen Pringle explores some of the ways in which people, young boys in particular, collectively experience and use pornography. The consumption of pornography by young boys is frequently assumed to be an individual and solitary practice, but in fact it is now often a practice of boys in groups, who characterise what they are doing as 'entertainment' and as involving laughter rather than (or as well as) sexual excitement. Helen argues that pornography used as such a form of entertainment raises a distinctive set of harms, and that the laughter involved in these practices needs to be understood not as benign but as a participation in cruelty and humiliation. Her argument makes use of examples of viewing practices of young men posted by themselves on websites and other public forums.

Dr. David John Sandifer

Dr. Sandifer's Ph.D. in history (Cambridge, 2014) looked at changes in public morality in Britain in the early nineteenth century.  More specifically, his thesis focused on concerns about the protection of moral innocence.  He has a longstanding interest in the relationship between media and character development, particularly in light of the increasing sexualisation of contemporary society.  For the past year, he has been involved in launching a campaign to draw attention to the crisis of child exposure to internet pornography, and served on the planning committee for the Porn and Harms to Children and Young People Symposium. He is an ordained minister in the Anglican Church and speaks and lectures widely in the Sydney area.

 The UK Model:  A Way Forward for Australia?

The United Kingdom is the only major Western nation to have introduced by-default internet filtering of pornography, largely at the initiative of Prime Minister David Cameron.  At present, the system is a voluntary one on the part of the internet service providers, though legislation has been mooted,  Does the UK internet regime provide a viable model for Australia?  Has it been effective?  How have concerns about censorship creep been addressed?  Should regulation be part of a comprehensive solution to the crisis of child exposure to pornography?  In this paper, Dr. Sandifer will explore these questions, presenting the history of the UK approach to internet pornography and suggesting ways to incorporate lessons from the UK for Australia.

 

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Laura Pintur

Laura is a passionate advocate and speaker against the objectification of women and girls and sexualisation of young people in today's culture. She confidently exposes the rise of pornography and the ramifications on society. In early 2015 she began the Zoo campaign, actively engaging with the public to have the lads mag removed from supermarket shelves which successfully saw the closure of the magazine completely. Laura currently travels around Australia speaking to young high school students with Collective Shout founder Melinda Tankard Reist about the increasingly problematic sexualisation of young people. She has recently appeared on ABC2 TV as a panel guest for the live TV discussion 'Australians and porn'. 

 

Nic Zettl

Nic is a 20 year old engineering student from the North side of Brisbane that has a passion to see the youth of today, particularly boys, break free from the harmful precedent set by popular culture when it comes to sex, drugs & body image.

Andrew Lines - MC

Andrew is first and foremost father of two daughters and two sons. He is also a PE/Health teacher who saw the significant need to have a deliberate transitional process for our young people to develop into respectful and responsible young adults. More than 7000 students in 70 schools will be initiated into adulthood in 2016 through his school based year-long program ‘The Rite Journey’ bringing the total number of students having completed The Rite Journey to over 45,000.

He has become one of the world’s most influential contemporary Rites of Passage creators and one of Australia’s most recognised boys’ educators working with teachers and students in hundreds of schools across Australia, NZ, South Korea and Europe sharing contemporary methodologies for working with students in middle years’ classrooms. 2015 saw him co-creating a new educational initiative, ‘ManMade:Growing Great Men’, through which he now offers workshops to boys in schools on 'Sex and Relationships in an age of pornography'.


5.jpgLiz Walker - Founder and Managing Director of Youth Wellbeing Project

Liz Walker is an accredited sexuality educator, professional speaker and founder of Youth Wellbeing Project. As the creator of the whole-person centred sexuality education model, and BODY IQ & RELATIONSHIP IQ programs, Liz provides proactive strategies for healthy sexual development to students, parents, counsellors and educators. Liz is regularly featured in media and speaks to thousands of young people every year, bringing a strong focus on deconstructing the messages of porn culture. As a lead influence in engaging parents, professionals and young people in Australia and New Zealand to talk about the impacts of porn, Liz’s presentations are often described as engaging, confronting and inspiring.

Symposium Opening

 


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  • A world where children can grow up without being psychologically harmed by accessing graphic, violent pornography online
  • Prevention of children’s access, given that porn is linked to increased risks of STIs and other harmful physical and relational outcomes
  • Higher standards for ISPs, tech and porn companies to implement technology-related child protection buffers to block harmful pornographic content
  • Adults, including the Australian Government, to exercise due diligence to protect children

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